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I have a question and need some help. I removed an open air hive the day after Thanksgiving last year. I really didn't think they would live through the winter. Well they did, and now they are workin hard bringing in lots of pollen. They are still on the comb attached to the branches. I cut everything down to fit in a deep box. I placed a deep above them with drawn comb and have been feeding with syrup. They have begun to store some syrup in the upper deep, but probably 90% of them are still on the original comb. I'm afraid when they decide to build comb i will have the mother of all messes if i dont get them to move. Any advice of where to go from here? Thanks Vance
 

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I would set the upper box on an excluder and lift the branch up and shake bees into the upper box until I found the queen. I would remove comb, one piece at a time, until I had it all cut from the branch, installing the brood comb into frames and adding it to the upper box. Then remove the lower box and let them settle in the upper only. Add the lower box on top, with frames, when needed.
 

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if they are moving upward in a box with movable frame you might consider waiting a short while*, continue to feed and when they have moved up a bit more simply reverse the boxes (almost like a conventional spring manipulation). at the time of reversing shake the bees off the branch into the top box (now the bottom box) and place a queen excluder between the two boxes until the brood hatches. at that time you can consider whether you wish to toss or reuse the old comb.

*North Texas is a large slice of geography but the 'best time' slot (nectar flow and limited cold temperature risk) for doing this should be around April 1.
 

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When I do cutouts I slam the whole mess in a deep or two and then figure it out later as spring is my busy season for EVERYTHING. I have found that you can break the mess up, find the queen, move her above an excluder as mentioned above, and then semi-arange the comb in the bottom box by pressing the edges of the comb up against the wood. They will move up to cover the new brood. Once a week just go through the bottom and pull out empty comb as the brood hatches and replace it with frames until it's gone.
I did ten??? of these last year and was pretty happy with the results.
 

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Have you considered drumming the bees up into the upper hive with the drawn comb? It worked once for me when I tried it.

:mrgreen: Al
 
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